Twitter's Parag Agrawal joins club of Indian-origin CEOs heading top tech giants

News Network
November 30, 2021


With his elevation as the CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, in whom co-founder of the microblogging giant Jack Dorsey has “bone-deep” trust, joins the growing power club of Indian-origin executives helming US-based global multinationals.

Twitter’s outgoing CEO Dorsey announced on Monday that 37-year old Agrawal, an IIT Mumbai and Stanford University alumnus, will be the company’s new chief executive as he stepped down after 16 years at the company that he co-founded and helmed.

A report in The New York Times said that Agrawal will receive an annual salary of $1 million, in addition to bonuses, restricted stock units and performance-based stock units.

“After almost 16 years of having a role at our company...from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO...I decided it's finally time for me to leave. Why?

“There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led.' Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure. I've worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders. There are 3 reasons I believe now is the right time.

“The first is Parag becoming our CEO. The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He's been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.

Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He's curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep,” Dorsey said.

Agrawal’s ascension as Twitter CEO puts him in the growing ranks of Indian-origin and Indian-born executives being named to the helm of global multinationals.

In January last year, Indian-born technology executive Arvind Krishna was named Chief Executive Officer of American IT giant IBM after a "world-class succession process", succeeding Virginia Rometty, who had described him as the “right CEO for the next era at IBM” and “well-positioned" to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era.

Krishna, 59, had joined IBM in 1990 and has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In August 2015, Sundar Pichai was named CEO of the newly organised Google, becoming only the third chief executive of the company after former CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page. In December 2019, Pichai became the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Pichai wished Dorsey “the very best ahead” and congratulated Agrawal and Board Chair Bret Taylor, saying he is “excited for Twitter's future!”

In February 2014, Microsoft veteran Satya Nadella was named CEO of the technology giant. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen are among the other Indian-origin executives who have climbed up the corporate ladder and helmed multinational giants.

Mumbai-born Agrawal tweeted Monday “Deep gratitude” for Dorsey and the entire team.

In a note posted on Twitter, he said he is “honoured and humbled” on his appointment and expressed gratitude to Dorsey’s “continued mentorship and your friendship.”

Agrawal had joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees.

"While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us,” he said.

“Our purpose has never been more important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together,” he said.

“The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today's news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and it's a signal that the work we do here matters,” he said.

A report in The New York Times said Agrawal, who was Twitter’s chief technology officer since 2017, “is little known to the public, with even some Twitter insiders saying they were surprised by his appointment."

But behind the scenes, the India-born engineer has been a Twitter veteran and confidant of Dorsey who has been involved in many of the company’s biggest strategic initiatives, it said.

The NYT report said that in 2005, Agrawal moved to the United States and pursued a doctorate in computer science while enrolled at Stanford University.

“Even among students at Stanford, Agrawal stood out for his strong grasp of the math and the theory that underpins computer science,” the NYT report quoted Jennifer Widom, who led the research lab and served as his thesis adviser, as saying.

As CTO, Agrawal was responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy, leading work to improve development velocity while advancing the state of Machine Learning across the company.

“Even as chief technology officer, Agrawal has kept a low profile. He worked behind the scenes to rebuild Twitter’s technical infrastructure, which had been cobbled together over the years. That led to engineering problems and prevented the company from introducing new products and services as quickly as it wanted. Agrawal helped Twitter shift to using cloud computing services from Google and Amazon, streamlining its operations,” the NYT report said.

Prior to being appointed CTO, he “had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017,” company said.

Agrawal also managed Twitter’s effort to “incorporate cryptocurrencies into the platform, letting users send tips in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. And he has supported efforts to be transparent about Twitter’s algorithmic mistakes, urging the company to go public with its findings that a photo-cropping algorithm it used was biased,” the NYT report said.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 18,2023


A warning that Mallikarjun Kharge issued to the Congress leaders and ranks on Sunday underlines the gravity of the crisis: “If you don’t work hard, democracy will perish, constitutional rule will be over.”

While Kharge was exhorting the extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) to gear up for the battles ahead, Rahul Gandhi explained how to go about it: “Avoid irrelevant issues, don’t fall into the BJP’s trap. Listen to the voice of the people and ensure these voices are crystallised into policies and guarantees. That’s how the Congress system is designed.”

The Congress strategy will be evolved on these critical counsels. The election strategy for five states was discussed at the extended CWC meeting on the second day. The party issued a statement after the meeting, exuding confidence about victory in all the states. Kharge asked the workers to ensure outreach to voters aged between 18 and 25 and explain to them the ideology and history of the Congress.

Later, addressing a massive public rally in Hyderabad, the Congress launched six guarantees, telling the voters to trust the party that fulfilled its commitment to create the state of Telangana.

Sonia Gandhi, who was instrumental in creating Telangana, was asked to launch the guarantees. Rahul and Kharge entreated the voters to judge the party on its track record, reminding them how all the guarantees were fulfilled within the first three months in the neighbouring Karnataka.

The guarantees for Telangana are: Rs 2,500 for every woman per month, free bus travel for women across the state, gas cylinder for Rs 500, Rs 5 lakh for every homeless person for construction of a house, Rs 4,000 per month for senior citizens, Rs 10 lakh health insurance for the citizens, Rs 15,000 per acre for farmers every year and Rs 12,000 for agriculture workers.

Rahul spent most of his time at the public rally on trying to convince the people that the BJP, K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s BRS and Asaduddiun Owaisi’s AIMIM have a partnership and work as a team. He recalled how the BRS helped the Narendra Modi government in Parliament and outside on every critical occasion over the last nine years. He said the ED-CBI and income tax, which have been targeting all Opposition leaders, kept aloof even as thousands of crores were looted in Telangana.

He said the new state was not created to empower the KCR family, and his government must be ousted to empower the poor, farmers, workers, women and youth. He accused Owaisi of disturbing the Congress in all states to help the BJP. Amidst loud cheers, he declared: “Nobody can save the KCR government now, not even Modi.”

Kharge also concentrated on explaining to the people how the Congress track record inspires confidence, recalling the nation-building process in the initial decades after Independence and recent schemes like the MGNREGA and the Food Security Act. He said the politics of Modi and KCR rests on lies — both these leaders make false promises to mislead the voters. He said KCR pushed a surplus-budget state into financial bankruptcy.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 21,2023


New Delhi, Sept 21: Canada's high commission in India said on Thursday that it has decided to temporarily "adjust" staff presence in the country after some diplomats received threats on social media platforms, adding to spiralling tensions between the two countries.

The statement from the high commission came soon after an Indian company published a notice that it was suspending visa services for Canadian citizens following a notice from the Indian mission. It then withdrew it minutes later before re-publishing it again.

BLS International, an Indian company offering visa facilities, said on Wednesday the notice from the Indian mission in Canada cited "operational reasons" for suspension of visa services "till further notice".

Spokespersons for the Canadian high commission and the Indian foreign ministry did not respond to queries on the two developments.

Tensions between the two countries escalated earlier this week when Canada said that it was "actively pursuing credible allegations" linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government categorically rejected Canada's suspicions that Indian agents had links to the alleged murder.

With both nations expelling a diplomat each, analysts said relations between the two countries have touched the lowest point.

"In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats," the Canadian high commission said in a statement.

"With some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India," it said, referring to the Canadian government department which manages Ottawa's diplomatic and consular relations.

"As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India," it said, without elaborating on what it meant by adjusting staff presence.

"In the context of respect for obligations under the Vienna conventions, we expect India to provide for the security of our accredited diplomats and consular officers in India, just as we are for theirs here."

After the tit-for-tat expulsions of senior diplomats, the two countries issued tit-for-tat travel advisories on Tuesday and Wednesday, with India urging its nationals in Canada, especially students, to exercise "utmost caution".


The tensions were sparked on Monday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was investigating "credible allegations" about the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Canadian officials have so far declined to say why they believe India could be linked to Nijjar's murder.

New Delhi has also not provided evidence or details of specific incidents leading to its travel advisory that refers to "growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada".

Canada is a safe country, its public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc said hours after India's advisory.

Canada has the largest population of Sikhs outside the Indian state of Punjab, with about 770,000 people reporting Sikhism as their religion in the 2021 census.

Some Indian analysts say Ottawa does not curb Sikh protesters as they are a politically influential group.

The spat is also threatening trade ties, with talks on a proposed trade deal frozen last week.

Canada is India's 17th largest foreign investor, pouring in more than $3.6 billion since 2000, while Canadian portfolio investors have invested billions of dollars in Indian stock and debt markets.

Since 2018, India has been the largest source country for international students in Canada.

In 2022, their number rose 47% to nearly 320,000, accounting for about 40% of total overseas students, the Canadian Bureau of International Education says, which also helps universities and colleges provide a subsidised education to domestic students.

Industry estimates show the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Canada and India could boost two-way trade by as much as $6.5 billion, yielding a GDP gain of $3.8 billion to $5.9 billion for Canada by 2035.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 19,2023


Kasaragod, Sept 19: The negligence on part of authorities, who failed to understand the consequence of potholes on Kasaragod – Chandragiri state highway has claimed the life of a future doctor. 

The victim is Shivani Baliga (20), who was pursuing her MBBS studies at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. She is the daughter of Mahesh Chandra Baliga who was the former president of Kannur Chamber of Commerce, and resided near St. Michael's School, Kannur.

The girl lost her life when her scooter went out of control due to a potohole near Chandragiripalam between Kasrargod and Kanhangad on Sunday, September 17 night. 

Shivani sustained serious injuries in the accident and was rushed to a private hospital, where she breathed her last the very next day. She is survived by her father, mother Anupama, and her brother Rajat Baliga, who is employed as an engineer in Bengaluru. Kasargod police have initiated an investigation into the incident.

Unheard pleas

Local residents and motorists had been urging the authorities at least to temporarily fill the potholes on the road to avert tragedies. The residents reiterated their demand when a 20-year old Ajit Kurup suffered severe injuries in an accident and landed in Mangaluru hospital a few days ago the same road. Had their demand been met at least temporarily, this major tragedy would not have happened.

According to reports at least eight two-wheelers were involved in accidents just two days (September 17 and 18) on the same road injuring many people including women and children. 

The road through Chandragiripalam is full of potholes. Three huge potholes near Pulikun Junction pose major threat. Most of the potholes were at the end of the interlocked section between Chandrigiri Bridge and Chandragiri Junction and at a distance of 5 meters from there to the bridge. It is almost impossible for two-wheeler riders to escape these potholes. 

After the major tragedy, the authorities took steps to fill some of the potholes temporarily with jelly stones without tar. However, due to rain and passing of cargo vehicles the some of the potholes have already reappeared.

Even though various organizations and drivers had repeatedly urged the authorities to take up the repair work before the commencement of the rainy season, no action was taken. Due to the construction work of the national highway, long-distance buses and goods vehicles ply on this road. The officials of the maintenance department on the other hand claim that the rains have hindered the pothole filling work. 


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.